By David Pendered
GRTA passengers are eligible for a 50 percent discount on a shared Uber ride for trips that begin or end at an Xpress Park-and-Ride lot during weekday commute hours. The promotion runs through May 31, GRTA announced today.
“We are excited to partner with Uber to offer this benefit to our Xpress customers and to make transit an even easier option for metro Atlanta commuters who are looking for alternatives to driving,” GRTA Executive Director Chris Tomlinson said in a statement. “Partnerships such as these are critical in connecting commuters to reliable, safe, and dependable transportation options to get them where they need to go.”
The discounted rate for GRTA passengers applies to every parking lot except the Hamilton Mill and Cumming lots. These lots don’t have uberPOOL availability, according to GRTA.
The discounts apply to all trips on weekdays during the commuting hours of 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The discounts are applied upfront and won’t appear on customer’s trip receipts. The updated pricing is already included in Uber’s app.
In addition to the arrangement with Uber, GRTA has responded to the collapse of the I-85 bridge in Atlanta by providing additional commuter service to MARTA rail stations from its park-and-ride lots in Gwinnett and Forsyth counties.
GRTA’s Xpress transit service carries about 9,000 boardings during the typical weekday, according to figures in the agency’s 2016 final report. At this rate, the 25 Xpress routes provide about 2.3 million commutes.
Uber’s partnership with GRTA is similar to the one Uber offers with MARTA, it’s partner since 2015. Uber offers a 50 percent discount on all weekday uberPOOL rides that begin or end at a MARTA station. The discount is available between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Uber portrays its partnerships as efforts to be a good corporate citizen. Uber vowed April 3 to provide at least $5 million in discounts to help commuters in the metro area following the March 29 collapse of the I-85 bridge in Atlanta.
- “As a traffic crisis becomes the new reality for metro Atlanta, Uber is launchingCommuting Together, a campaign to do our part in helping commuters get to and from work while I-85 is being repaired. We are pledging to dedicate at least $5 million over the coming months to help keep prices low and encourage riders and drivers to help combat congestion.
- “In this State of Emergency, our city leaders are urging commuters to carpool or take MARTA – and Uber is already making it easier for Atlanta residents to do both.”
Uber said in its statement that part of its $5 million commitment will go toward hourly fare guarantees for drivers. Evidently, the guarantee is intended to maintain the number of Uber drivers willing to endure long trip-times during the congestion created by the bridge collapse and the vehicles that fill other roads as they travel an alternate route.